A few weeks ago I wrote an article summarizing Q1 earnings for public SaaS companies, highlighting what it takes to operate a successful public company from a metrics perspective. But for many startup entrepreneurs, a more helpful analysis would entail looking at what it took for each of these companies to become public in the first place. So in this article I’ll do just that, examining every SaaS IPO since the beginning of 2018, plus a few other influential IPOs before that period (36 in total), and analyzing how they all stacked up on a few key operating metrics at the time of their IPO. My hope is that every SaaS entrepreneur can use this data to set goals for themselves around what it takes to become a public SaaS company. There’s a lot to unpack here, so today, in part 1, I’ll go deep on benchmarking operating metrics. In part 2 I’ll analyze what a successful IPO process consists of — the 2-week investor roadshow leading up to the pricing of the IPO plus the first day of being publicly traded.
Nice write up Jamin! I was wondering if there was a source from where I could arrive at the LTV or ACV of various publicly listed SaaS companies. I have been trying for sometime now but Gross Retention data seems hard to find.
Jamin - thanks for this great content. I'm curious, now that we're in January 2022 after a record calendar year of SaaS IPOs and a new "SaaS Crash", have the rule of thumb metrics for founders to look at for "IPOs ready" changed at all? I can probably figure this out by reading your individual S-1 benchmarking posts but would be interested to hear your perspective! -BB
Really informative article, thank you Jamin. One question, if you say (as shown on the % subscription revenue graph) that Twilio's % subscription revenue is 100% but they have a high level of PS, how can it be 100%? Maybe I'm reading that wrong. But if subscription means "no people costs to deploy"... that would mean there would never be ANY direct sales engagement or PS?
it would be great to combine this with data as some of these companies rose from through the ranks. What IPO companies looked like in the 3-5 years leading up to their IPO
This is an awesome piece! Looking forward to pt 2
What are your thoughts on Splunk?